Amarante has a cultural and historical legacy, where music has played a crucial role. Since 1854, three philharmonic bands were founded and have been vital in providing access to music dissemination, practice and training. In the mid-20th century, the city’s associative structure, today a significant component of the musical context, starts to grow through its folklore and percussion groups, engaging actively with the locals. Other groups and venues turned Amarante into a music hub: the Orquestra de Jazz, the Orfeão Amarantino, the Cineteatro programming (from the 40’s), the Tâmega Festival (1979-93) and the summer balls. This musical atmosphere inspired other creators, like the painter Amadeo de Souza-Cardoso.
The city’s associative structure, today a significant component of the musical context, started to grow in the end of the 19th century, through its three philharmonic bands, eleven folklore groups and eight percussion groups (‘bombos’). It’s estimated that 1200 people per year are involved in amateurs music practices.The Municipality promotes these creative assets by supporting and co-producing festivals, which annually attract to the city more people than its inhabitants (around 70.000). Currently, the major events are the June Festivities, Mimo Festival and Há Fest!.
The support given by the Municipality to cultural industries in the last five years aims first, to attract and support the production of regular and international events and second, to develop and qualify spaces for regular music programming. From the second line of intervention figure, the projects of requalification of the municipal market and the rehabilitation of Amarante Cineteatro.
The Mission of Amarante UNESCO City of Music is:
- Encourage music as a tool for empowerment and active citizenship, notably in vulnerable groups (women and youth), by improving access to musical training and fruition, starting from nursery and primary schools.
- Reinforce the local music ecosystem with creativity-based initiatives for business and professionalization that broaden opportunities for creators and professionals in the cultural sector, the already organized festivals will play a key role.
- Foster the production and dissemination of cultural activities, through dedicated venues, such as the rehabilitation of Amarante Cineteatro. At the same time, encourage the city cross-cutting Music, Literature and Cinema with the intend to stimulate literature and reading practices through music.
- Amarante, a music lab for all. This programme aims to present Amarante within the UCCN as an experimental music lab, by offering a context to share and disseminate practices in building a professional and inclusive music ecosystem.
Tourism Manager/ Focal Point of Amarante UNESCO City of Music
Rua Cândido do Reis, nº 250, 1º andar
Phone: +351 914 378 974 (InvestAmarante)
Mobile: + 351 910 038 554 (Aida Guerra)
Facts and Figures
Amarante is locate in the North Region of Portugal, Amarante spreads for an area of 301.5 km2, crossed by the Tâmega River. Stay only 40 minutes away from Porto (the capital of the northern district of Portugal), as well as the Douro Vinhateiro Region (classified by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site).
Amarante had an estimated residente population 54.432. A young population where 26% are under 25.
Other fun facts
The city’s cultural life has been influenced by several artists that were born there, such as Teixeira Pascoaes, Amadeo Souza-Cardoso or Agustina Bessa-Luís. São Gonçalo’s Church and Bridge are the city’s landmarks while its main cultural facilities are the municipal museum dedicated to the Fine-Arts (Amadeo Souza-Cardoso Museum), the Sacred Art Museum, the municipal library, the Cultural Center (CCA), two theaters and the Cineteatro.